The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) Director: Marc Webb
I thought this was a bit of a bland attempt at a reboot of the Spider-Man story. It is a little darker than Sam Raimi’s sunny portrayal of the classic character, and it is also less fun. In this Marc Webb duo-logy, Spider-Man is played by Andrew Garfield. He is a punk, skate-boarder who is nevertheless a brilliant scientist and an outsider geek (somehow). He falls in love with the police chief’s daughter Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) –the police chief Capt. Stacy is played by Denis Leary. After getting bitten by a genetically-engineered spider he becomes Spider-Man, fighting crime and the police alike. One day, a noble scientist with an amputated arm named Dr. Connors (Rhys Ifans), who is a former partner of Peter’s father, decides to regrow his limb using genetically-engineered animal DNA. He then transforms himself into a massive lizard and then plans to transform New York City into a city filled with giant human-lizards, as well, in order to perfect and improve humanity. Somehow, Gwen develops an antidote and Spider-Man and Gwen’s father Capt. Stacy battle the lizard but Gwen’s father is killed in the mayhem –he makes Peter promise not to involve Gwen in his life because Spider-Man will naturally have too many enemies.
Tonally, this film is all over the place. There are long, uncomfortable scenes of flirtatious teenage romance, and others contain echoes of early 2000’s pop-punk band music videos, or perhaps even a Twilight movie. The dialogue seems off-the-cuff and unplanned, perhaps partly owing to the fact that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were actuallly dating offscreen during filming. While it boasts some extraordinary CGI special effects, this is not a film I would be eager to revisit.